Treatment Roadmap To Recovery

Addiction is a health issue and there are many pathways to recovery.

When is it time to seek help?

The decision to seek treatment is a personal choice. People often look for help when the negative effects of substance use become stronger than the positive effects they experience.

Where do I start? 1-866-531-2600 is funded by the Government of Ontario. It is a free and confidential service for people with gambling, drugs or alcohol disorders, or mental illness. Information and Referral Specialists answer all calls, emails, or webchat requests 24/7.

What treatment options are available?

  • Withdrawal Management Centres
  • Community-based (Outpatient)
  • Hospital-based (Inpatient)
  • Residential (Live-in)
  • Mutual Support Groups (12 step)
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Aftercare programs

What happens after treatment?

Recovery is a process of change and growth. A person works to improve their health and live a meaningful life. Exercise, meditation, support of friends and family, and 12-step groups are some of the supports that are helpful in preventing relapse.


Withdrawal management: These are services where people who are physically dependent on alcohol or other drugs are helped to withdraw safely from them. They can be in different settings, including in the community, hospitals, residential centres, and non-residential centres.

Community-based (Outpatient):Delivered in a variety of places in the community, such as a Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic. This type of clinic offers timely access to addiction physicians and other healthcare professionals that can assess a client’s substance use concerns, review treatment options, and primarily manage acute alcohol and opioid withdrawal.

Hospital-based (Inpatient): Care provided at a hospital, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, involving intensive structured treatment activities. Most often used by people with alcohol or other drug problems and also medical or mental health problems who need more intensive and comprehensive supports including greater medical care and supervision.

Residential (Live-in): Care provided in a live-in treatment centre, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, involving intensive, structured treatment activities. Most often used by people whose alcohol or other drug problems are long-standing and complex.

Medication-Assisted Treatment: For individuals with a physical dependency on certain substances, primarily alcohol and opioids, medication is provided in a specialized outpatient setting in combination with counseling and other treatment services.

Mutual Support Groups: The most widely available mutual support groups are 12-Step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. They are a no-cost treatment or can be a form of continuing care and community support following treatment.

Aftercare: Care provided post-treatment to support recovery and help maintain healthy changes. Can include different activities such as peer support groups, continued use of addiction medications and specialized supportive housing.


Adapted with permission from Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (2017). Finding Quality Addiction Care in Canada: Drug and Alcohol Treatment Guide. Retrieved from